My fellow travelers of Young Pioneers Tour…for surviving 4 unforgettable days in North Korea with me. 08/08/11.
Richie…for being a great friend to us and a fantastic guide while you were helping Gareth run our tour in North Korea. We had no idea that you were younger than all of us! And thanks for breaking our room light. 08/09/11.
Gareth…for providing one of the most unforgettable tours into North Korea. Your free spirit and jovial antics belie the serious, hard working, and omnipresent guide that solidifies YPT as *the* go-to tour company into North Korea for younger travelers. See you at another alternative locale somewhere around the world. 08/08/11.
Jiwoo Jessica Kim…my friend from Columbia…for jumping on my Facebook status and meeting up with me immediately when I arrived into Beijing. Thanks for the cheeky conversations and hanging out with us until 6am, even though you had to go to class that morning! 08/07/11.
Winnie…for being another Asian female who grew up in an English speaking country and is traveling alone! 08/07/11. -steph
The Soeun Sisters…for the fish massage, a free drink, and the great conversation. 08/06/11. -steph
Number 10 Guesthouse…for being the most interesting guesthouse Steph has ever stayed at. seriously. 08/05/11. -steph
Khmer rouge survivor…for an incredible story. 08/05/11. – steph
Andy and Carmen…for eating chili chips, stalking lady boys, basking in 7-11, and the best introduction to Bangkok. 08/03/11. -steph
New Zero Art Gallery…for letting me a part of your performance art workshop and appreciating my cracker/toilet paper crushing act. 08/03/11. – steph
Ludovica Durelli…for accompanying me as we hung tight on the Indiana Jones style jeep up Kyaiktiyo, climbed up the rest of a ridiculously steep mountain, and roughing it with me through the middle of a monsoonal rainstorm just to see the Golden Rock. See you in Italy! 08/03/11.
Gal, Anna, and Dina…for showing us where to eat some trustworthy, cheap, and delicious streetside food in Nyaungshwe by Lake Inle, and for the way-too-early-but-still-worth-it breakfast conversations the next morning. See you in Israel! 08/02/11.
The girls of the Hnin Thitsar Umbrella Workshop near the Floating Market of Inle Lake…for introducing me to the Padaung giraffe women and thinking that I was a Korean pop star. 08/02/11.
Oriana…for daring Steph to try various street foods, spending several days with her photographing Yangon, and for being of a like-minded soul when I had the pleasure of meeting you myself at Inle Lake. 08/02/11.
The Inle barbershop band…for letting Steph play your guitar. 07/31/11.
Ey-Ey…for being the feistiest, most confident and most honest out of all the local folks I met in Bagan. 07/30/11.
Shan and your horse Tutu…for helping us see all of Bagan’s big temples in one day. 07/30/11.
Our 7 year-old guide at Bagan…for making sure we didn’t fall while climbing up those brick temples and guiding us to a beautiful view of the sunset. 07/29/11.
May and Jim…for being the best, most genuine, and most hospitable hosts we could ever stumble upon when arriving in Myanmar. Thank you for your constant prayers that safeguarded us throughout our travels. 07/29/11.
Jun and SPT…for the neverending game of snakes and ladders! “tit, hni, thoun…” 07/28/11.
Olivier…for wandering around 19th Street in Yangon with Steph and letting her practice her French. 07/27/11.
Alex Lang…for being my first male travel buddy (finally!) in 2010, for accompanying me as we explored Dhaka north to south and for sharing your extensive travel experiences around the globe. I have a long way to go. See you in Melbourne! 07/26/11.
Sabrina, Christina, and her dad…for taking in me better than any host could when I arrived into Dhaka. Getting to speak Chinese with you all felt like I was home again. 07/26/11.
Sharmin…for taking care of us immediately after we disembarked from our flight to Colombo and randomly showing us around the Sri Lankan Special Forces compound the next day. 07/20/11.
Lakshmi…for blessing Steph with your pretty trunk. 07/18/11.
It all comes together in Mumbai: Anya, George, Annah, Karen, Sidd, Vikas, Me, Benn, and Joyce. Anya & Joyce I met at Delhi airport only 3 weeks ago, George & Ben found The Monsoon Diaries and we decided to meet for the first time in Mumbai, Karen is my friend from med school, Sidd I met last year in Mumbai when he got into Columbia, I was Vikas’s Orientation Leader 4 years ago in college, and Annah is my original Monsoon Diaries travel partner. 07/18/11.
Karen Wong, my friend from Downstate Medical School…for taking a detour from Jamkhed just so she could see me in Mumbai, and then heading out with me afterwards to Madurai and Pondicherry. Please keep my silver ring safe for me when I get back! 07/18/11.
Avanti & Shivani…for never failing to take care of me whenever I’m in Mumbai. 07/16/11.
Raja of Om Hari Jewelers…for the conversations, honesty, and the addicting cardomon black pepper chai while we hung out at your famous jewelry shop in Jaisalmer. 07/10/11.
Shyam Singh…for meeting up with me again in his hometown of Dharamsala and being the same cool guy I remembered meeting a year ago on the rooftop of Nukkad Guesthouse in Udaipur. 07/07/11.
Pieter…for taking care of and keeping Stephanie Quan company while she was down and out in Varanasi. See you in Holland! 07/06/11.
Abdul Aziz Dar (aka Uncle-ji), grandfather of my friend Najia Dar from medical school, and the rest of the amazing Dar dynasty…for taking us in as part of your own family, inviting us to an unforgettable multiday Kashmiri wedding in none other than Kashmir itself, and being omnipresent in ensuring all our needs were taken care of. 07/01/11.
Ankur, Andrei, and Dan, my friends from Downstate Medical School…for driving 2 hours from south of Delhi in order to have dinner with me only a few hours after I arrived into India, and right before I was about to leave for Kashmir. Thanks for an amazing meal and making the seemingly impossible happen. 06/30/11.
Joyce and Anya…for immediately trusting us the moment we met on our flight to New Delhi, and accompanying us all the way from Delhi to Kashmir to Rajasthan to Mumbai. Couldn’t ask for better travel partners; thank you for being a crucial part of our travels in India because we couldn’t have imagined them without you. 06/30/11.
Seiki and her friend…for a quick conversation while waiting in line at the Kathmandu Departures Terminal, and the coolest way to take a polaroid picture. See you in Hong Kong! 06/30/11.
The volunteers and administators of Hindu Vidyapeeth: Emilie, Sam, Hathu, and Vishnu…for taking us in as guests for the evening and inspiring us with your service to the children of Nepal. 06/28/11.
Anais and her French posse…for surviving a bus ride from hell together to running into each other again for drinks in Thamel. 06/28/11.
Hannah Wallace…for paragliding with us in Pokhara, being a good sport at Busy Bee, for showing us around Hindu Vidyapeeth in Nepal, and for being a descendant of Trotsky, you secret commie. 06/27/11.
Molly and Arthur…for the company in Pokhara from paragliding to staying at the same hostel to stories at Busy Bee to possibly joining up again a week later in India. 06/27/11.
Sue Yang, my friend from Columbia…for such gracious hospitality as you hosted us for the night in and around Dubai. See you in NYC! 06/22/11.
Mona and Behiye…for making our Dubai dreams come true. Words cannot express how much I learned and the fulfillment I experienced by being in your presence. “If it happens once, it will never happen again, but if it happens twice, it will surely happen a third time.” Already looking forward to that third time. 06/22/11.
Nisreen…for a great conversation on the airplane to Dubai and for frequenting all the places I go to in NYC without ever actually running into each other until now! 06/22/11.
Sadikchya, my friend from ECAASU…for showing us around her native Kathmandu and being the best foodie tour guide one could ever ask for. Giving you VIP treatment ECAASU 2012! 06/24/11.
Peter…for just happening to be in the same cab heading to the same hotel as we were, and then joining us for dinner and drinks afterwards in Amman, Jordan. 06/21/11.
Ana, Maricela, and Andrew…for hanging out with us as we rested a bit before ascending up to the Monastery. See you at Yosemite! 06/21/11.
Pete and Spenser, friends from the airplane to Kathmandu…for accompanying us on a memorable 2 days of adventure in Kathmandu. No other city in the world would be as fitting. Except for the early-closing nights of course. 06/24/11.
The students of Bringham Young University…for a very chilled out session while perched at the top of the High Place of Sacrifice in Petra as we exchanged stories and phone numbers. See you in Utah! and NYC! 06/21/11.
Max Friedman, our friend from Columbia…for the WTF moment when we ran into each other at a random bustling street in Kathmandu, Nepal. 06/22/11.
Ali…our cab driver to the Beirut International airport, for quizzing us emphatically on how much we really knew Beirut after 2 days there, enlightening us on the politics of the Middle East, and inspiring us to find the solution. 06/19/11.
Segolene Ragu…for a wonderful conversation despite the impossibly loud techno music at B018 nightclub in Beirut. I don’t know how we managed to talk, dance, and appreciate the open roof and the sunrise all at the same time, but I knew you would be my next welcome guest in NYC. See you soon. 06/17/11.
Lord Sam Sleiman…for being our gracefully kind bartender at Rococo, the enthusiastic love for Americans, and directing us to all the happening nightlife spots in Beirut. You will make it to NYC one day, I promise! 06/17/11.
Zaid…for striking up a conversation when I disembarked from my flight into Beirut, which eventually led to an entire morning of teaching us how to enjoy Beirut to its fullest. Have fun at the wedding! 06/17/11.
Karde, my friend from Columbia…for taking us out for a great dinner and a beautiful lounge afterwards in Beyoglu and Istiklal Caddesi, while we chatted and reminisced the good old times as we overlooked the Istanbul skyline. 06/15/11.
Little Ahmet Ginar…for making us gush over and over on how cute a little 7 month old could be. 06/15/11.
Tony Gudge…for entertaining us endlessly with his stories on working as a sound engineer for The Clash, his travels all over the world, and everything else about British sensibilities while waiting in line for the treasury at Topkapi Palace. 06/15/11.
Nikhil Chandra…for being the coolest brother Sonya Chandra could ever ask for and being a wonderful and helpful travel partner throughout Turkey. Trust us, you have a little bit of Turkish inside you. 06/13/11.
Melis, my friend from Columbia…for providing me a wonderful and beautiful free place to stay at your apartment in Istanbul. Even though you were busy most of the time with work, it was so good to see you and catch up. Looking forward to having you back in NYC! 06/11/11.
Laura Ly, my friend from Columbia…for having her last day in Istanbul be my first, and for almost running into me in the airport when I arrived as you were trying to make your departure flight (we missed each other by a span of only a few minutes!). We’ll make up for it back in NYC. 06/11/11.
Karen and Diego…for befriending us at Playa Blanca that eventually led us to stay over at your apartment in Cartagena and going out for 2 full days in the city. Your companionship was what made our trip all the more meaningful and we look forward to having you when you come in the States. See you in Bogota! 04/01/11.
Hilda…for being an amazing and invaluable travel buddy while we were in Cartagena. Your thirst for adventure is inspiring and I can´t wait to travel with you again. See you in Caracas! 04/01/11.
Karo…for taking good care of me even if we never met before, showing me around Bogota at night even though you had to wake up at 6am the next morning. See you back in NYC where I can owe you a proper tour! 03/30/11.
Maria…for being sharing my love for the dance at Mama Afrika in Cuzco. See you in Sweden! 03/30/11.
Jade and Ryann…for being the best dance partners at Mama Afrika in Cuzco, and being part of a wild wild night. Whatever happened will be hard to repeat. See you in Toronto! 03/29/11.
Laura…for being the only person in my only tour I gave at med school that actually met up with me a few weeks later and showed me around Cuzco. I told you we would make it happen. Good luck in your applications and I´ll see you at Downstate or Wisconsin! 03/29/11.
Zane and Nick…for being our awesome and randomly assigned roommates while we stayed at Loki´s Backpackers Hostel, and for sharing with us a wildly entertaining night in Cuzco. Looking forward to partying with you again. See you in New Zealand! 03/29/11.
Samantha…for our nice morning conversation at Loki´s Hostel and finding out that we were pretty much neighbors back in NYC. See you back in the city! 03/29/11.
Kaitlin…for showing me what sexy was after climbing Wayna Picchu and the great company on the train ride back from Machu Picchu. See you in NYC! 03/28/11.
Mona…for accompanying us around Machu Picchu at the very end, engaging us with an undeniable energy, and inspiring us with your views on life, travel and medicine. See you in Dubai! 03/28/11.
Karla…for taking pictures of me while I was stuck on top of a rock at Wayna Picchu, and being so patient when I sent the pictures she wanted very many weeks later. Sorry! See you in California! 03/28/11.
Lisa, Elena, and Susanna…for being the best buddies to talk to during our 2 hour train ride to Machu Picchu, and especially Susanna for trekking with us all the way to the top of Wayna Picchu. I was bummed we couldn´t meet up again in Cuzco. See you in Germany or NYC! 03/28/11.
Renato of TaxiLimaPeru.com…for giving us a safe, thorough, and very impressive tour of Lima during our overnight layover. 03/26/11.
Dara, my friend from ECAASU…for giving valuable travel advice on Machu Picchu and Cuzco.
Felipe, my friend from Columbia…for setting me up a place to stay in his native city of Bogota and letting me under the care of his best friend.
The One Small House Team…for an amazing community service experience in Mexico. 12/26/10.
Eugene Mok, my friend from ECAASU…for hosting us as we arrived in San Diego right before crossing the border into Mexico. 12/25/10.
Vicky Wu, my friend from high school…for seeing me for the first time in 6 years, as well as having lunch with me and showing me around the IFC (especially after getting her wisdom teeth removed the day before!). 12/19/10.
Michelle and her boyfriend…for literally meeting me an hour after I landed in Hong Kong for a quick, last-minute dim sum brunch. See you in Vancouver! 12/18/10.